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Ponta Delgada ,  January 19, 2012

Government highlights quality of vocational training in the Region

The Government estimates that with the extension of compulsory education to the 12th form, which comes into effect next September, nearly 1600 youngsters will enrol at vocational training schools in the school year 2012/2013.

"This represents an opportunity for Azorean youngsters to improve their employability and qualifications," the Regional Director for Labour, Vocational Training and Consumer Defence stated, stressing "the importance of choosing quality vocational training courses based on the employability of these youngsters."

Rui Bettencourt spoke on the sidelines of the meeting with the boards of Azorean Vocational Training Schools, held in Ponta Delgada, which was also attended by the Regional Director for Education and Training.

Speaking about the training offer for next year, the government official explained that since 2003, courses are selected based on "strict criteria, using unique system nationwide that involves the consultation of companies."

Alluding to the recent statements made by the leader PSD/Açores, who said that "vocational training schools should have courses that corresponded to the real market needs" and "above all, they must create courses the market absorbs and needs," Rui Bettencourt considered this issue as "irrelevant and suitable for micro electoral interests," adding that "we have been doing this a decade ago, but apparently someone has just thought of it now!"

The Regional Director also stated that the studies on the training needs of these companies have been published; the first was published in 2003.

"We ask all Azorean companies which type of professionals they will need for coming years and we choose the courses according to their needs. In order to enhance the relevance of the courses, we also check at employment centres which are the areas with higher employability. We also assess the activity sectors that have better changes of creating jobs based on the Alert Indicator System.
Furthermore, we also hear the Regional Monitoring Commission of Employment Measures, awarding priority status to the most relevant courses and excluding from funding measures those with lower employability," explained Rui Bettencourt.

"For that reason, over 20,000 youngsters have completed their education at vocational training schools since 1998, of whom less than 200 are unemployed," said the Regional Director. He also stressed that the Azorean Government has "a vision for employability and there are priorities in the funding for vocational training courses in a system that Europe envies." According Rui Bettencourt, this situation only happens in the Azores and some regions in Germany, France and Spain.

"We have recently implemented the student monitoring system, which is intended to monitor the employability of regular and vocational training student in the Azores. This system has not been implemented at a national level, despite being one of the Troika's demands for the last quarter of 2011," stress the Regional Director.

 "Regarding everything we have done, one day the leader of PSD/Açores will say that she wants to do exactly the same, but it is already done," Rui Bettencourt said, considering that "the opposition has to offer what is already in operation."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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